For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand.
Choose Your Battles
I knew parents once who had a helpful philosophy for raising their children. The rule of thumb around the house was “everything is negotiable, except the Ten Commandments.” The point was to avoid unnecessary wrangling over issues that did not involve sin. If their son wanted to wear an earring or have a rattail haircut for example, it was not a sin to do so. Despite a parent’s personal distaste for earrings on boys and unusual haircuts, they left the issue “negotiable.”
The Ten Commandments reveal sin. They do not save us from sin, but they do make us aware of our sin. We face a real, spiritual battle. The apostle Paul wrote, “For our struggle is not against flesh and blood.” When we are battling the “powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms,” we have to know that we are fighting for our souls. We are fighting against sin.
Satan’s business is to drag people down into the darkness of sin and unbelief. Because of that, we have to choose our battles. We have to fight, not against each other, but against sin. We have to fight in such a way as to win the battle and finally enjoy victory forever. Therefore, put on the full armor of God. We could enumerate all the pieces of armor at our disposal or we can say simply, “Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power” (Ephesians 6:11).
Jesus’ mighty power is the power to save us from our sins. He lived not to show us how we should look on the outside, but on the inside to have the holiness and perfection that our Savior freely gives us. Jesus died, not to forgive unusual haircuts or questionable fashion sense. He died to take away real sins, real violations of the holy will of God. Jesus lived, fought, died, and rose in a winning battle against the darkness of sin, death, hell, and Satan.
Put on Jesus in faith and you will have put on the full armor of God.
Lord Jesus, remove my sin, surround me with your holiness and give me the victory over the spiritual forces of evil, now and forever. Amen.